#40 The importance of sex positivity with Leah Carey

This podcast episode has been given an explicit rating.

We [women] should be allowed to have sovereignty over our bodies, and what our bodies do, and what our bodies accomplish, at all times.

– Leah Carey

Women are always collectively deemed as highly transparent and emotionally intelligent beings, unafraid to be open about their vulnerability, since patriarchy allows them to. So when we don’t see this transparency and openness being replicated by women within their romantic/sexual relationships, it’s worrying but not unfamiliar to any woman. We women have all seen, heard of, or experienced sex negative relationships, where the sexualities of women are not respected, prioritised or just not acknowledged entirely. This sex negativity can, and in many cases has, build up into a hostile and abusive environment, with women reduced to sex objects for the pleasure of their partners (who tend to be men).

Sex negativity doesn’t just exist within individual relationships; our cultures have become horrendously sex negative and the affects of this are disproportionately felt by women across the world. Being directly affected by misogynistic stereotypes around sexual exploration and embodiment of sexual energy as a young woman, Leah understands the devastating impacts sex negative cultures can have on a woman as she grows up. Therefore, Leah wishes to transform this negativity into sex positivity by providing a platform just for women to discuss their sexual journeys, entirely anonymously, in an effort to destigmatise women’s pleasure and encourage women to take control over their own bodies. We need to collectively work towards establishing a culture of sex positivity and celebration of women’s sexual freedom.

NB: Although the conversation revolves around sex positivity within heterosexual relationships, as the misogyny often found in heterosexual relationships is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed to protect women’s safety, the issues/topics discussed are applicable for all women in all sexual/romantic relationships.

Episode structure:

  • Leah’s journey into sex coaching and her past struggles in embracing her sexuality (mention of emotional abuse by father)
  • Starting her podcast, Good Girls Talk About Sex, to encourage women to explore their sexualities for themselves
  • The negative impacts on women of our sex negative society – from unhealthy body image to stigma around women’s sexual experimentation/exploration
  • Importance of sovereignty over our bodies, including the sexual health right of abortion
  • Difficulty around gaining accurate information on birth control and importance of having open conversations with other women with female reproductive systems
  • Need for expectations around “firsts” to be removed and the importance of valuing a woman’s decision on when to have sex, whether for religious reasons or personal choice
  • Need for sex positivity to also include asexuality and the desire to not have sex, or have sex on a regular basis
  • Flaws in sex education, with majority only being about prevention of STIs, male sexual pleasure and periods/pregnancy – no mention of women sexual pleasure and/or consent
  • The flawed mathematics of “zero sum” relationships – women tend to be the ones giving and not receiving
  • Importance of masturbation and exploration for being in tune with your own body and to understand what you enjoy, which then can be relayed to your partner
  • The issues around motherhood and sex, and the need for partners to make adjustments for the mother as she cares for her young child (assuming the mother is the primary care giver)
  • Leah’s advice to her younger self, and to all women struggling with embracing their sexualities

Leah’s website: https://www.goodgirlstalk.com

Additional resources:

Thank you for listening.

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